The Washington State Cougars dropped their fourth straight game, 31-17, to the California Golden Bears on Saturday night. Cal dominated the ball on the ground, as they picked up large chunks with the running backs for much of the night.
The quarterback situation is front and center for the Cougs once again. Connor Halliday came in and threw two interceptions in the first three drives for the Cougs. Jeff Tuel replaced him and moved the ball often, but WSU's failures in the redzone and around the 20 yard line were critical once again.
Marquess Wilson and Teondray Caldwell both left with apparent concussions in the first half. Caldwell's came after an impressive run, as he was knocked cold as he went out of bounds. Wilson's occurred on a helmet-to-helmet hit in the endzone that drew a penalty. He was well on his way to a big game, as he had 87 yards receiving when he went down.
WSU showed fight in the fourth quarter, as Tuel connected with Brett Bartolone for a 6-yard score with 7:09 left. The Cougar defense followed with a three-and-out to give the offense an immediate chance.
Tuel led the offense down the field, connecting with Isiah Myers on a long pass into Golden Bear territory. Unfortunately, the drive stalled and WSU's comeback bid was ended.
Another frustrating result. The offense had multiple chances to take the lead as the defense picked up stops early in the game. It didn't happen, and Cal built a double-digit advantage in the first half that they would never relinquish.
The offense was certainly better with Tuel. He finished 30/53 for 320 yards and two scores, with no interceptions. Drops by the receivers killed drives time and time again. Maybe things would have been different in the second half with Wilson lined up outside.
It's a eighth-straight loss to Cal, and Cougar fans are getting that numbing feeling for the fifth-straight season.